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Becky Sharp

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Becky Sharp

Published 1935
Topics Drama

Becky Sharp released in 1935 and based on the play of the same name by Langdon Mitchell, which in turn is based on the William Makepeace Thackeray's novel "Vanity Fair".
It tells the story of a lower-class girl who insinuates herself into an upper class family, only to see her life and the lives of those around her destroyed. The ruthless, self-willed and beautiful Becky is one of the most famous characters in English literature.

After the tremendous success of the short La Cucaracha in 1934, John Hay Whitney and his cousin Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney formed Pioneer Pictures to produce color films, of which this was the first.
Being the first Technicolor film, the color at the time did not look too realistic; one critic commented that the cast looked like "boiled salmon dipped in mayonnaise".

Run time 84 min
Producer Kenneth Macgowan, Rouben Mamoulian
Production Company Pioneer Pictures Corporation
Audio/Visual sound, color
Contact Information


Reviewer: Dark Moon - - May 9, 2011
Subject: In every woman's heart...
...there lives a Becky Sharp? I followed Karen Eliot's two film recommendations, and read the descriptions. Hmmm...

More than anything, civilization is about the restraint of humanity's animal nature. Feminists tell us that it is just the men who need to be so restrained. Really?? (Snort!) :D
Reviewer: robcat2075 - favorite - July 24, 2010
Subject: Not a true copy
This is definitely a poor dupe of the original.

The Technicolor original looked great and has been recently restored.

This look like poor-mans copy onto some lesser two-color format or some unstable film stock.
Reviewer: kareneliot - favoritefavoritefavorite - July 22, 2010
Subject: My review is based on the entertainment value only
For my own tastes only, I found it mediocre and felt Miriam Hopkins' performance was somehow forced and shallow.

I loved how she literally "threw the book" at people though. A good story and a good character, but a somewhat unconvincing performance for me.

However, it was entertaining enough and the costumes and backgrounds were great and of course I recommend watching it...

If you like this movie, I also suggest these other two movies available here: "Strange Woman" and "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers".

Watch those other two movies I mentioned and you'll see why I say this one was kind of a let down.
Reviewer: Lunatim - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 19, 2009
Subject: The Sin of Cinecolor
This is definitely worth downloading in spite of apparently being made from one of the cheap 16mm Cinecolor TV prints made in the 50s. It's about the rise of street-wise social climber Becky Sharp and is about as entertaining as any other historical costume drama of the 30s. Like any other 30s costumer filmed entirely indoors, it has that stuffy, claustrophobic look, but is definitely worth a look for historical value if nothing else.

If you've seen any of the other 3-strip Technicolor movies made prior to Becky Sharp--La Cucaracha, several MGM Colortones and Traveltalks, a few Vitaphones like Show Kids, and color inserts like the ice cream factory sequence in Eddie Cantor's Kid Millions, to name a few--the color quality is stunning and could never get confused with any 2-strip process. I think I saw the particular print of the '37 version of A Star is Born referred to by another poster, and that also looked like another Technicolor film tragically released in Cinecolor. Luckily, there has been a restoration of Becky Sharp in recent years; I have no clue what the copyright status of the restored version is, but it'd be great if somebody could upload that to the Archives...
Reviewer: jahzoone - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 2, 2009
Subject: Prasie is reward enough
Praise should be reward enough but not for Becky Sharp, she wants more and more she will get just watch her work it out. Great film.
Reviewer: malary - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 1, 2009
Subject: Nice Film
A pretty terrific movie. The actors are quite good. Don't miss this one!
Reviewer: jonel469 - favoritefavoritefavorite - December 27, 2008
Subject: color on Becky Sharp
I seriously doubt that this is a Cinecolor print as Campfire suggests. As mentioned in the synopsis the early three strip Technicolor process was less than satisfactory. Actually I thought the color was pretty good when one takes in to acount that fact as well as the age of the film. Compare the color of this film to " A Star is Born " ( 1937 ), which was also an early three strip Technicolor film and you will see that the quality is about the same . Anyone who is interested in early color film processes should check out
Reviewer: Campfire - - March 20, 2008
Subject: Not the best color
Although Becky Sharp has the distinction of being the first feature film shot in full, glorious three-color Technicolor, this copy appears to be made from one of the film's re-issue prints, which for some reason or another were reprinted in inferior two-color Cinecolor.
Reviewer: flickfdude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 17, 2008
Subject: Becky at The Piano Forte
Not Thackery exactly but most movies don't hold to the book very often.
The sound did not play on my DVD player so I had to run the film on my computer as I watched it also on the entertainment center. I've been putting off hooking a computer to the big screen.
I could convert the download, labeled DIVX at the site or AVI on the download, to a format with a readable, (on the DVD player), sound formatting. It has a standard size.
I did that with Under Capricorn.
This Becky Sharp film is wider than full but less than wide screen.
The movie is somewhat entertaining. The resolution actually played better off the DVD disc copy with progressive scan but wasn't quite as fine as we might have preferred.
I've not yet decided if the film was worth the trouble of converting and making another copy for the DVD sound to be available. I am a big fan of the book the story was taken from, originally Vanity Fair; it was a marvelous work of art, in my opinion.
The movie gives us, I suppose, a fair representation of the times when the episodes transpired, of that period the story is fixed in historically.
Being transported this way to another period of time and culture is a pleasant positive.
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